A number of new criminal laws were passed during the 2023 legislative session and are set to go into law on August 1. We’ve already touched on the legalization of recreational weed, but a number of other criminal matters were also addressed during this year’s legislative session, and we’re going to take a closer look at what changes were made.
New Criminal Law Changes
Here’s a look at some of the criminal issues that lawmakers attempted to address this year.
Aiding and Abetting Murder – Previously, anyone who contributed to a felony could be charged with murder if a death occurred within the course of the felony, even if they did not directly contribute to the death. A change to the law states that people involved in a crime would have to be a major participant in the felony that resulted in a death in order to be charged with murder. Those previously convicted of aiding and abetting felony murder may be eligible to have their convictions overturned on appeal if they were not a major contributor in the death.
Carjacking – Lawmakers increased penalties for those conviction of carjacking. A third-degree carjacking charge – the lowest charge in Minnesota – is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If a weapon is used or simulated, or a victim is harmed during the crime, the charge can be upgraded to first-degree carjacking, which carries a minimum sentence of 20 years.
Deep Fake Content – Minnesota has made it a crime to use artificial intelligence to create sexual images of people without their consent. The law also states that it is illegal to use artificial intelligence for spreading election misinformation.
Drug Paraphernalia – Beginning August 1, it will no longer be a criminal offense to possess drug paraphernalia like pipes or syringes.
Early Release – Previously, convicted criminals were eligible for release after completing 66 percent of their sentence. A change will allow them to be released at 50 percent completion, so long as they complete additional programs, like addiction counseling or sex offender treatment.
No-Knock Warrants – No-knock warrants will now only be issued if the “occupant or occupants in the premises present an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the officers executing the warrant or other persons.” This would also require officers to prove that they can’t search the premise when it’s unoccupied, and for officers to provide a list of known occupants of a property, including those under the age of 18, to a judge.
Peeping Tom Law – As we talked about in this blog, it is now illegal to record or broadcast images of a person’s intimate parts if the person is in a home or other place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy. A violation of this law would be a gross misdemeanor offense.
Retail Theft – Lawmakers have added a specific law about organized retail theft. A person found guilty of organized retail theft can face up to 15 years in prison if the theft amount is over $5,000.
If you need help with any of these new legal issues, or you have a more standard case like a traffic ticket or DWI, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today for legal help. Give us a call at (952) 224-2277.